POLITICS

Iowa Straw Poll News: Live Updates From The Hawkeye State

08/13/2011 10:40 am ET | Updated Oct 13, 2011

A test of conservative strength and a table-setter for next year's Iowa caucuses, the Ames Straw Poll is taking place in the Hawkeye State on Saturday.

Six Republican candidates have actively campaigned in the event: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter (R-Mich.), U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will also be on the ballot, however, the three GOP contenders have not aggressively sought to lock up support in the straw poll.

Ames Patch reports that write-in votes will be allowed for the first time at this year's event.

Texas Governor Rick Perry won't be on the ground in the Hawkeye State on Saturday; however, the Republican hopeful is still making waves with news of his intention to run for president. His name will not appear on the Iowa straw poll ballot.

We're following the latest developments to unfold in Iowa. Check out the live blog below.

08/14/2011 9:53 AM EDT

Tim Pawlenty Quits The Race

The former Gov. announced his departure on ABC's “This Week with Christiane Amanpour," which provided HuffPost with an early copy of the show's transcript. His official statement:

"I'm announcing this morning on your show that I'm going to be ending my campaign for president, but I'm very, very grateful for the people of Iowa, the people of this country, who I had a chance to make my case to, and for my supporters and staff and friends who've been so loyal and helpful. I really appreciate all of them.

I wish it would have been different. But, obviously, the pathway forward for me doesn't really exist. And so we're going to end the campaign."

08/13/2011 9:45 PM EDT

What Tomorrow Could Bring For Bachmann

By at least one measure, tomorrow could well be the highpoint of the Michele Bachmann campaign. She is scheduled to appear on all five Sunday morning talk shows: ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC. In the trade, that kind of sweep of overexposure is referred to as a "Full Ginsberg," so named because a previously obscure lawyer of that name -- who happened to be a family friend of Monica Lewinsky's and therefore her counsel -- appeared on them all back to back to back to back to back. By the time he was done he had permanently worn out his welcome and shown that he was in over his head.

Will Bachmann do the same? The other main precedent is more encouraging. . Barack Obama did it as president to sell his health care bill. It passed.

-- Howard Fineman

08/13/2011 8:25 PM EDT

Steve King Reacts

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) weighed in on Bachmann's win on Saturday night. According to the Des Moines Register he said, "I think that it showed that the personality and the charisma and the candidacy of Michele Bachmann eclipsed the best of efforts to try to build an organization to try to get people to people to come to the straw poll."

Click here to read more.

08/13/2011 8:01 PM EDT

Bachmann Campaign Responds To Ames Results

The Bachmann campaign has released the following statement regarding the Ames Straw Poll results:

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has issued the following statement after winning the 2011 Iowa Straw Poll:

"I want to thank the people of Iowa for this tremendous victory. Together we sent a message that we intend to make President Obama a one-term president. The Iowa Straw Poll was a important first step in what will be a long race for the presidency. Now we turn our attention toward winning the Iowa Caucuses and taking our message of reining in wasteful spending, keeping taxes low, growing our economy and creating jobs to the people of New Hampshire, South Carolina and all 50 states."

08/13/2011 7:33 PM EDT

Howard Fineman: Impressions On Ames Results

With the announcement of the Ames Straw Poll results, I drew the following conclusions:

  • Bye-bye T-Paw
  • Perry as a last-minute write-in bests a weak Mitt
  • Combination of Bachmann and Paul strength will generate more questions about the wisdom of doing a straw poll at all
  • Newt, with 385 votes, needs to drop out
  • Santorum is in danger with a fourth place finish in a state where evangelicals matter so much
  • Romney supporters argue that this will help Mitt by pitting Perry against Bachmann for the evangelical/Tea Party vote
  • Ron Paul is about to become a MAJOR headache for the GOP

-- Howard Fineman

08/13/2011 7:20 PM EDT

Game On

@ DavidChalian : Bachmann victory speech: "Now, it's on to all 50 states."

08/13/2011 7:11 PM EDT

Paul Camp Reacts To Results

Paul Campaign chairman Jesse Benton issued the following statement after the straw poll results were announced:

“Dr. Paul is surging in this race, and today’s results show the strength of his grassroots support and top notch organization.

“These straw poll results, our growing poll numbers and our strong fundraising shows that our message is resonating with Iowans and Americans everywhere.

“Our message was the same in 2007 as it is in now in 2011, but this time we have quadrupled our support. That means our message is spreading, our support is surging, and people are taking notice.

“We are uniting a coalition of longtime supporters, fiscal conservatives, constitutional conservatives, independents, tea party and anti-big government activists to take on the Washington establishment.

“Today, Ron Paul has emerged as a top tier candidate and is a serious contender to win the Republican nomination and the Presidency.”

08/13/2011 7:02 PM EDT

Pawlenty Statement On Straw Poll Results

The Pawlenty campaign issued the following statement on the Ames Straw Poll Results:

Congratulations to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for her victory in today's straw poll. We made progress in moving from the back of the pack into a competitive position for the caucuses, but we have a lot more work to do. This is a long process to restore America -- we are just beginning and I'm looking forward to a great campaign.

08/13/2011 6:42 PM EDT

Iowa Straw Poll Results

Michele Bachmann emerged the winner of the Iowa straw poll. More information to come.

08/13/2011 6:20 PM EDT

First Numbers Emerge, Pointing Toward Bachmann Landslide

The first numbers are bleeding out.

The number we know for sure is how many people voted: 17,000, according to the state party. That's the second highest amount of straw poll votes since they held the first one in 1979. The highest number of votes was in 1999, when George W. Bush and Steve Forbes duked it out -- Bush won -- and drew a total of 23,685 votes.

Here are the estimates of vote totals for each candidate:

Michele Bachmann appears to have blown the doors off this thing, with reports of at least 6,000 votes. Ron Paul aides tell me they passed out 4,700 or 4,800 tickets. And there are reports of more than 3,000 tickets passed out by Pawlenty.

Again, these are not official numbers, but if they are right, then Bachmann is the big winner today, and Pawlenty has some very hard questions to answer about whether his campaign has any future at all.

-- Jon Ward

","short_text":"

From HuffPost's Sara Kenigsberg comes video of Mike Huckabee singing on stage with Herman Cain in Ames.

WATCH:

Read More"},{"id":"69","created":"08/13/2011 3:01 PM EDT","title":"Pawlenty Has Mixed Crowd","tweet_link":"69_pawlenty-has-mixed-crowd","entry_text":"

Iowa Patch reports:

A lot of Pawlenty's cheers coming ferom a green shirted group of supporters sitting near him. People in the rafters above don't seem as into it.

Click here for more updates from Patch.

","short_text":"

Iowa Patch reports:

A lot of Pawlenty's cheers coming ferom a green shirted group of supporters sitting near him. People in the rafters above...Read More"},{"id":"68","created":"08/13/2011 3:00 PM EDT","title":"Bachmann Tent Draws Massive Crowd","tweet_link":"68_bachmann-tent-draws-massive-crowd","entry_text":"

Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, told me that the line for food at the Bachmann tent is the biggest he's seen at any tent in four straw polls.

\"And they're actually going to vote for her. It's amazing. Never seen anything like it,\" Albrecht said.

A Pawlenty adviser, standing off stage minutes before Pawlenty spoke, downplayed the line, saying the Bachmann operation was less efficient and didn't move people through as quickly, exaggerating the size of her crowd.

-- Jon Ward

","short_text":"

Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, told me that the line for food at the Bachmann tent is the biggest he's seen at any tent in four straw polls.

\"And they're actually going to vote for her. It's amazing. Never seen anything l...Read More"},{"id":"67","created":"08/13/2011 2:58 PM EDT","title":"Candidates Bring Supporters","tweet_link":"67_candidates-bring-supporters","entry_text":"

\n\n\"jonward11\"\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nat #ames, each candidate brings a group of supporters to the front of the stage to stand and wave signs and cheer. http://t.co/LamTi2y\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nat #ames, each candidate brings a group of supporters to the front of the stage to stand and wave signs and cheer. Read More"},{"id":"66","created":"08/13/2011 2:57 PM EDT","title":"Pawlenty Speaks","tweet_link":"66_pawlenty-speaks","entry_text":"

Iowa Patch reports:

Pawlenty: \"We know what America needs, but unfortunately Barack Obama has absolutely no clue.\"

Pawlenty says Obama is like \"a manure spreader in a wind storm.\"

Pawlenty gets big cheer for saying \"Barack Obama has gotta go.\"

\"Barack Obama should put his full faith and credit in the American people.\" \n\t\nPawlenty: \"Let's be a nation that puts its faith in God first and foremost.\" \"Number two, we can't spend more than we take in.\"

Pawlenty accuses Obama of ignoring American exceptionalism, says he will \"Maintain the peace by maintaining our strength.\"

Pawlenty says: \"Mr. President, get the government off our backs,\" to big cheers

Pawlenty argues for repeal of Obamacare and balanced budget amendment.

Click here for more live updates from Patch.

","short_text":"

Iowa Patch reports:

Pawlenty: \"We know what America needs, but unfortunately Barack Obama has absolutely no clue.\"

Pawlenty says Obama ...Read More"},{"id":"64","created":"08/13/2011 2:37 PM EDT","title":"Paul Talks Troops","tweet_link":"64_paul-talks-troops","entry_text":"

\n\n\"jonward11\"\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\ncheers for ron paul talking of bringing troops home for not only afghanistan but korea and germany not as loud, but louder than youd think\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\ncheers for ron paul talking of bringing troops home for not only afghanistan but korea and germany not as loud, but loud...Read More"},{"id":"63","created":"08/13/2011 2:32 PM EDT","title":"Gold And Silver","tweet_link":"63_gold-and-silver","entry_text":"
\n\n\"jonward11\"\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nanother big cheer for this ron paul line: \"It's still on the books that only gold and silver can be legal tender.\" #ames\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nanother big cheer for this ron paul line: \"It's still on the books that only gold and silver can be legal tender.\" #ames...Read More"},{"id":"62","created":"08/13/2011 2:31 PM EDT","title":"Rand Paul Looks On","tweet_link":"62_rand-paul-looks-on","entry_text":"
\n\n\"daveweigel\"\n\n\n@ daveweigel :\nSen Rand Paul watching his dad speak #ames http://t.co/HUIOW0L\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ daveweigel :\nSen Rand Paul watching his dad speak #ames http://t.co/HUIOW0L\n"},{"id":"61","created":"08/13/2011 2:26 PM EDT","title":"Paul Addresses Abortion Issue","tweet_link":"61_paul-addresses-abortion-issue","entry_text":"
\n\n\"jonward11\"\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nron paul spends first few minutes talking about abortion in #ames - \"All life is precious.\"\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nron paul spends first few minutes talking about abortion in #ames - \"All life is precious.\"\n"},{"id":"60","created":"08/13/2011 2:23 PM EDT","title":"Cheers For Ron Paul","tweet_link":"60_cheers-for-ron-paul","entry_text":"
\n\n\"jonward11\"\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nhuge cheer for ron paul in #ames\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nhuge cheer for ron paul in #ames\n"},{"id":"59","created":"08/13/2011 2:18 PM EDT","title":"Ames Voters Open To Perry's Candidacy","tweet_link":"59_ames-voters-open-to-perrys-candidacy","entry_text":"

Strong America Now, a conservative group founded by Texas businessman Mike George, showed a live feed of Rick Perry's speech here in Ames inside their tent. A modest crowd showed up. I missed the broadcast because an organizer had originally told me they wouldn't have a live feed, but would show a taped version of the speech about 30 minutes afterward. So I showed up right after Perry finished. I spoke with three men who voted for Michele Bachmann today and one who voted for Ron Paul. All four said they were open to voting for Perry, but want to know more about him.

\"What I know, I like,\" said Dale Baldwin, a 69-year old woodworker from Vinton, Iowa, who voted for Bachmann at the straw poll. \"I've heard a little bad, but I don't remember where I heard it.\"

\"I want to find out more about him,\" Baldwin said.

Steve Sandberg, a 62-year old who works at HyVee in Humboldt, also voted for Bachmann but said \"nothing is carved in stone.\"

\"I'm just not ready to commit yet.\"

-- Jon Ward

","short_text":"

Strong America Now, a conservative group founded by Texas businessman Mike George, showed a live feed of Rick Perry's speech here in Ames inside their tent. A modest crowd showed up. I missed the broadcast because an organizer had originally told me th...Read More"},{"id":"58","created":"08/13/2011 2:07 PM EDT","title":"Ames Stage 'Mosh Pit'","tweet_link":"58_ames-stage-mosh-pit","entry_text":"

The organizers are saying that only 100 can be handled in \"the mosh pit\" area close to the stage. At least that is their story and they are sticking to it.

-- Howard Fineman

","short_text":"

The organizers are saying that only 100 can be handled in \"the mosh pit\" area close to the stage. At least that is their story and they are sticking to it.

-- Howard Fineman

"},{"id":"57","created":"08/13/2011 2:02 PM EDT","title":"Ron Paul Supporters Cannot All Access Floor","tweet_link":"57_ron-paul-supporters-cannot-all-access-floor","entry_text":"

Ron Paul supporters are crowding in front of the door to get in onto the floor of Hilton Coliseum for Paul's speech. An Iowa Republican Party volunteer is telling them only 100 of them can get in.

-- Jon Ward

","short_text":"

Ron Paul supporters are crowding in front of the door to get in onto the floor of Hilton Coliseum for Paul's speech. An Iowa Republican Party volunteer is telling them only 100 of them can get in.

-- Jon Ward

"},{"id":"56","created":"08/13/2011 2:02 PM EDT","title":"Paul Supporters Crowding In","tweet_link":"56_paul-supporters-crowding-in","entry_text":"
\n\n\"jonward11\"\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nPaul supporters crowding to get onto floor of coliseum. An Iowa Republican Party volunteer is telling them only 100 of them can get in.\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nPaul supporters crowding to get onto floor of coliseum. An Iowa Republican Party volunteer is telling them only 100 of t...Read More"},{"id":"55","created":"08/13/2011 2:00 PM EDT","title":"Santorum Takes A Dig At Obama","tweet_link":"55_santorum-takes-a-dig-at-obama","entry_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:

Santorum: \"With Obamacare, everyone is a mannequin and a puppet attached to Washington, D.C., pulled in the direction that Washington wants you to be pulled. Not on my watch.\"

Click here for more updates from Patch.

","short_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:

Santorum: \"With Obamacare, everyone is a mannequin and a puppet attached to Washington, D.C., pulled in the d...Read More"},{"id":"54","created":"08/13/2011 1:56 PM EDT","title":"GOP Leaders Upset Over Perry Announcement","tweet_link":"54_gop-leaders-upset-over-perry-announcement","entry_text":"

\n\n\"howardfineman\"\n\n\n@ howardfineman :\nIowa GOP leaders upset that Perry upstaging straw poll. \"People will forget by january\" Chuck Grassley told me. But for now they're pissed\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ howardfineman :\nIowa GOP leaders upset that Perry upstaging straw poll. \"People will forget by january\" Chuck Grassley told ...Read More"},{"id":"53","created":"08/13/2011 1:55 PM EDT","title":"Santorum Speaking Now","tweet_link":"53_santorum-speaking-now","entry_text":"
\n\n\"michaelpfalcone\"\n\n\n@ michaelpfalcone :\n#Santorum: \"This campaign is about scrating and clawing for every bit of recognition we can get” #iastrawpoll\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ michaelpfalcone :\n#Santorum: \"This campaign is about scrating and clawing for every bit of recognition we can get” #ia...Read More"},{"id":"52","created":"08/13/2011 1:49 PM EDT","title":"Santorum's Stance On Partial-Birth Abortions Draws Applause","tweet_link":"52_santorums-stance-on-partialbirth-abortions-draws-applause","entry_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:

A segment of the video highlighting Santorum's record on partial-birth abortions draws strong applause from the crowd. They are standing now as the former senator takes the stage with his wife and family.

Click here for more updates.

","short_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:

A segment of the video highlighting Santorum's record on partial-birth abortions draws strong applause from t...Read More"},{"id":"51","created":"08/13/2011 1:33 PM EDT","title":"Rand Paul Draws A Crowd","tweet_link":"51_rand-paul-draws-a-crowd","entry_text":"

At Ron Paul's tent, his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), rallied the Texas congressman's supporters. They are a fired up bunch.

There is plenty of speculation that Paul will ultimately win the straw poll. If that happens, Rand told the crowd, \"some will try to discount it.\"

\"This isn't an online poll,\" he said. \"If Ron Paul wins the poll today, it's going to be a message heard around the world.\"

The crowd roared.

Rand said that rather than lamenting Ron Paul's presence in the race, the Republican Party should be glad that he has brought new blood into the GOP. A young man in a flat-brimmed hat waved his hand and nodded his head.

He served up plenty of red meat, hinting that America might see riots like the ones in Britain and Greece if the country does not get its debt under control and prevent its currency from being devalued.

\"We want to capture and keep our republic before we get to that point,\" he said.

He railed against the fact that some agents of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture Department carry weapons.

\"The government is here to protect us from ourselves but we want a government that will protect our liberties.\"

\"It's a battle between good and evil,\" he said. \"To steal from the future to get and live large off of government largesse now is theft. It's morally wrong and something we must change.\"

After he finished, Paul's senior campaign adviser Doug Wead, who previously worked as an adviser to both Presidents Bush, came up on stage. \"When Ron Paul is president, Rand Paul will be there in the Oval Office whispering in his ear every day,\" Wead said. \"You vote for Ron, you get Rand.\"

Ron Paul's campaign spokesperson Gary Howard predicted Ron Paul will get \"a lot more [votes] than last time.\" In the 2007 straw poll, he finished 5th, with 9.1% of the vote.

-- Jon Ward

","short_text":"

At Ron Paul's tent, his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), rallied the Texas congressman's supporters. They are a fired up bunch.

There is plenty of speculation that Paul will ultimately win the straw poll. If that happens, Rand told the crowd, \"some w...Read More"},{"id":"50","created":"08/13/2011 1:28 PM EDT","title":"Strawn Speaks To The Crowd","tweet_link":"50_strawn-speaks-to-the-crowd","entry_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:

GOP chair Matt Strawn asks a cheering crowd, \"Who wants to help make Barak Obama a one-term president?\"

Strawn is explaining the Iowa caucus process to the crowd. \"It's a very special process ...\"

Click here to read more.

UPDATE: This post originally said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad was speaking to the crowd. It has been changed to reflect that it was actually GOP chair Matt Strawn.

","short_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:

GOP chair Matt Strawn asks a cheering crowd, \"Who wants to help make Barak Obama a one-term president?\"

Read More"},{"id":"49","created":"08/13/2011 1:26 PM EDT","title":"Program Has Begun","tweet_link":"49_program-has-begun","entry_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:

The program has begun. Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn led the assembled attendees and media in the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:

The program has begun. Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn led the assembled attendees and media in the Pledge of A...Read More"},{"id":"48","created":"08/13/2011 1:25 PM EDT","title":"Michele Bachmann's Tent","tweet_link":"48_michele-bachmanns-tent","entry_text":"

Michele Bachmann's tent is the only one that's air conditioned. Her campaign might be regretting the expenditure, since it's a beautiful day -- breezy and in the 80's -- and many people would likely rather be outside than in a darkish tent that smells kind of funky. I'm inside right now as a band plays. A couple of local pols were talking a few moments ago. A young man in dreadlocks and a bright yellow t-shirt stood by the stage. The shirt said, \"Jesus Is My Rock.\"

Bachmann campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart said it was \"hard to get a feel for what's going on in other tents,\" but said they'd be sending folks around to eyeball things in a bit.

A high turnout of straw poll voters is important for Bachmann. The more people who show up on their own, rather than as part of a group brought by a campaign, the higher the chance is that her numbers will go up.

Stewart said the campaign was hearing that turnout was very good.

\"I hear from the [state] party folks that there's record turnout,\" she said.

She also tried to downplay expectations a bit, saying that Bachmann has not had months to set up a bus operation like Tim Pawlenty or years to organize supporters like Ron Paul.

Those two campaigns, she said, have \"a tremendous advantage\" because of their organizational superiority.

-- Jon Ward

","short_text":"

Michele Bachmann's tent is the only one that's air conditioned. Her campaign might be regretting the expenditure, since it's a beautiful day -- breezy and in the 80's -- and many people would likely rather be outside than in a darkish tent that smells ...Read More"},{"id":"47","created":"08/13/2011 1:20 PM EDT","title":"Pawlenty's Set-Up","tweet_link":"47_pawlentys-setup","entry_text":"

Here's a quick rundown of Pawlenty's bus operation. Each bus comes to a staging area, where most of the campaign's top operatives are. Aides meet the bus, get the bus number, and find out how many people are on each bus. Then, either campaign manager Nick Ayers or Pawlenty's wife Mary gets on and gives the people on the bus a pep talk.

Ayers walked over a little while ago and told me, \"The buses are tracking 96 percent of RSVP's.\"

A shuttle from Des Moines that had not been scheduled to show up arrived as well.

\"That's a good problem,\" said senior campaign adviser Phil Musser.

\"We like that add thing,\" said Mary Pawlenty. \"It's like, 'Woo hoo!'\"

Ayers jumped on another bus: \"The key here is to get your t-shirt, your ticket ... We'll all go vote together.\" A crushed empty water bottle was in his back pocket.

The passengers got off the bus and formed a line to get their tickets -- the campaign had them ready. They were handed green t-shirts as well.

But for all its organization, there is a possibility that the Pawlenty campaign's hard work will not be rewarded by fickle voters.

Wilma Veensvra, 72, rode the Pawlenty bus from Pella, about 90 minutes away. Despite having had their transportation, entry fee and food paid for by the Pawlenty campaign, Veensvra said she and her husband had not yet decided who they were going to support.

-- Jon Ward

","short_text":"

Here's a quick rundown of Pawlenty's bus operation. Each bus comes to a staging area, where most of the campaign's top operatives are. Aides meet the bus, get the bus number, and find out how many people are on each bus. Then, either campaign manager N...Read More"},{"id":"46","created":"08/13/2011 1:19 PM EDT","title":"Program Beginning Inside Coliseum","tweet_link":"46_program-beginning-inside-coliseum","entry_text":"Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:\n \n

Bells are chiming inside the Coliseum. The announcer has asked people to take their seats. \"The program is about to begin,\" he said.

Click here for more coverage from the Hawkeye State.

","short_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:
\n

Bells are chiming inside the Coliseum. The announcer has asked people to take their seats. \"The progr...Read More"},{"id":"45","created":"08/13/2011 1:10 PM EDT","title":"IA Gov. Branstad Greets Cain","tweet_link":"45_ia-gov-branstad-greets-cain","entry_text":"

\n\n\"TimAlbrechtIA\"\n\n\n@ TimAlbrechtIA :\nGov. Branstad greets @THEHermanCain at his tent. #iastrawpoll http://t.co/V8nifQB\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ TimAlbrechtIA :\nGov. Branstad greets @THEHermanCain at his tent. #iastrawpoll...Read More"},{"id":"44","created":"08/13/2011 1:04 PM EDT","title":"Santorum Eyes The Crowd","tweet_link":"44_santorum-eyes-the-crowd","entry_text":"
\n\n\"RickSantorum\"\n\n\n@ RickSantorum :\nGreat crowd! http://t.co/zsyLVVb\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ RickSantorum :\nGreat crowd! http://t.co/zsyLVVb\n"},{"id":"43","created":"08/13/2011 1:02 PM EDT","title":"Huck Jams With Herman Cain","tweet_link":"43_huck-jams-with-herman-cain","entry_text":"
\n\n\"dmrcaucus\"\n\n\n@ dmrcaucus :\nHuckabee and @thehermanCain jam session just started. #iastrawpoll http://t.co/BkT6AXL\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ dmrcaucus :\nHuckabee and @thehermanCain jam session just started. #iastrawpoll Read More"},{"id":"42","created":"08/13/2011 12:57 PM EDT","title":"First Impressions","tweet_link":"42_first-impressions","entry_text":"

First impressions from Ames Straw Poll. Pawlenty is, as predicted, very organized. Bachmann's tent is mobbed. Ron Paul's supporters are on a mission. More details to come.

-- Jon Ward

","short_text":"

First impressions from Ames Straw Poll. Pawlenty is, as predicted, very organized. Bachmann's tent is mobbed. Ron Paul's supporters are on a mission. More details to come.

-- Jon Ward

"},{"id":"41","created":"08/13/2011 12:55 PM EDT","title":"Brandstad Speaks At Cain's Tent","tweet_link":"41_brandstad-speaks-at-cains-tent","entry_text":"
\n\n\"dmrcaucus\"\n\n\n@ dmrcaucus :\nGov. Brandstad speaking now at Cain's tent: \"We need people like you to help turn this country around,\" he said to Cain. #iastrawpoll\n
","short_text":"\n
\n\n\n\n@ dmrcaucus :\nGov. Brandstad speaking now at Cain's tent: \"We need people like you to help turn this country around,\" he said to Cain....Read More"},{"id":"40","created":"08/13/2011 12:49 PM EDT","title":"The Action On The Ground","tweet_link":"40_the-action-on-the-ground","entry_text":"
\n\n\"ZekeJMiller\"\n\n\n@ ZekeJMiller :\nBachmann food line is ridiculously long http://t.co/irmi88K\n

Iowa Patch's Megan VerHelst reports:

Want BBQ at Pawlenty's tent? So does everyone else at the straw poll. Prepare for a long wait if you're here!

","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ ZekeJMiller :\nBachmann food line is ridiculously long http://t.co/irmi88K\n<...Read More"},{"id":"39","created":"08/13/2011 12:47 PM EDT","title":"The Straw Poll Scene","tweet_link":"39_the-straw-poll-scene","entry_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:

Straw Poll attendees are slowly entering the Coliseum and finding places among a sea of red seats. Iowa State University colors are red and gold. It's a GOP event. Red seats. Red state?

Click here for more coverage from the ground in the Hawkeye State.

","short_text":"

Iowa Patch's Don Wyatt reports:

Straw Poll attendees are slowly entering the Coliseum and finding places among a sea of red seats. Iowa ...Read More"},{"id":"38","created":"08/13/2011 12:42 PM EDT","title":"Herman Cain Delivers","tweet_link":"38_herman-cain-delivers","entry_text":"

\n\n\"FixAaron\"\n\n\n@ FixAaron :\nAs promised, Godfather's Pizza. #iastrawpoll\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ FixAaron :\nAs promised, Godfather's Pizza. #iastrawpoll\n"},{"id":"37","created":"08/13/2011 12:40 PM EDT","title":"Cain Vows To Push Ahead","tweet_link":"37_cain-vows-to-push-ahead","entry_text":"

Iowa Patch's Jody Gifford reports:

Cain says he'll keep going whatever the results of the Straw Poll.\n...\nWill Cain finish last? \"As my grandfather said, 'Ain't gonna happen!'\"

Click here for more coverage from the Hawkeye State.

","short_text":"

Iowa Patch's Jody Gifford reports:

Cain says he'll keep going whatever the results of the Straw Poll.
\n...
\nWill Cain finish la...Read More"},{"id":"36","created":"08/13/2011 12:27 PM EDT","title":"Rand Paul Talks Straw Poll","tweet_link":"36_rand-paul-talks-straw-poll","entry_text":"

\n\n\"michaelpfalcone\"\n\n\n@ michaelpfalcone :\nRand Paul: \"If Ron Paul wins today it's going to be a message heard 'round the world\"#iastrawpoll\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ michaelpfalcone :\nRand Paul: \"If Ron Paul wins today it's going to be a message heard 'round the world\"#iastrawpoll\nRead More"},{"id":"35","created":"08/13/2011 11:52 AM EDT","title":"Huck Weighs In","tweet_link":"35_huck-weighs-in","entry_text":"
\n\n\"PeterHambyCNN\"\n\n\n@ PeterHambyCNN :\nHuckabee tells me he has \"no predictions\" for the straw poll. \"it's hard to tell\"\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ PeterHambyCNN :\nHuckabee tells me he has \"no predictions\" for the straw poll. \"it's hard to tell\"\n"},{"id":"33","created":"08/13/2011 11:07 AM EDT","title":"Embracing The Circus","tweet_link":"33_embracing-the-circus","entry_text":"
\n\n\"garonsen\"\n\n\n@ garonsen :\nThey're really taking this circus thing literally\n
\n\n\"garonsen\"\n\n\n@ garonsen :\nThe Thaddeus McCotter safety clown van\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ garonsen :\nThey're really taking this circus thing literally\n\n\n\n\n\n...Read More"},{"id":"32","created":"08/13/2011 10:16 AM EDT","title":"The Action At TPaw's Tent","tweet_link":"32_the-action-at-tpaws-tent","entry_text":"
\n\n\"jonward11\"\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nhere's video of one band playing at pawlenty's tent: The Nadas http://t.co/ziA53yM\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jonward11 :\nhere's video of one band playing at pawlenty's tent: The Nadas http://t.co/ziA53yM\nRead More"},{"id":"31","created":"08/12/2011 10:09 PM EDT","title":"Michele Bachmann At The Iowa State Fair","tweet_link":"31_michele-bachmann-at-the-iowa-state-fair","entry_text":"

Video by HuffPost's Sara Kenigsberg

","short_text":"

","short_text":"

Eight Republican candidates took to one stage in Iowa on Thursday night to face off in the Hawkeye State's first presidential debate of the 2012 election season.

HuffPost's Jon Ward Read More"},{"id":"19","created":"08/11/2011 7:01 PM EDT","title":"Setting The Stage","tweet_link":"19_setting-the-stage","entry_text":"

As press arrived this afternoon at the Hilton Coliseum, on the campus of Iowa State University, to prepare for tonight's debate, a FedEx delivery man showed up at the offices of school administrative staff.

\"I have 38 boxes of t-shirts for this Michele Bachmann thing,\" the man said to the harried office secretary. He explained that each box weighs about 50 pounds.

The tents for Saturday's straw poll are in the process of being set up around the grounds. The weather in Ames is pleasant, which is fortunate. Usually it's blazing hot this time of the year in Iowa.

The set up for the press is spartan. There's a water fountain, but no bottled water, much less food or coffee. One bathroom with two toilets, at least on this level. We'll all be seated on the floor, craning our necks to watch on the Jumbotron above us. I'm sure all of this suffering will delight some readers. But we'll soldier on.

The only candidate I've seen in the last hour or two is Newt Gingrich. Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn came through a bit earlier, as did Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). He sat talking on the phone via a hands-free device and then disappeared.

Fox dominates the surroundings. They have a studio set up here between the filing area and the \"spin room,\" and are doing live shots of their evening show news panel right now.

-- Jon Ward

","short_text":"

As press arrived this afternoon at the Hilton Coliseum, on the campus of Iowa State University, to prepare for tonight's debate, a FedEx delivery man showed up at the offices of school administrative staff.

\"I have 38 boxes of t-shirts for this ...Read More"},{"id":"18","created":"08/11/2011 3:57 PM EDT","title":"Perry Will Announce Saturday","tweet_link":"18_perry-will-announce-saturday","entry_text":"

\n\n\"PeterHambyCNN\"\n\n\n@ PeterHambyCNN :\nPerry will announce on Saturday in Charleston, source tells CNN\n
","short_text":"\n
\n\n\n\n@ PeterHambyCNN :\nPerry will announce on Saturday in Charleston, source tells CNN\n"},{"id":"17","created":"08/11/2011 3:43 PM EDT","title":"Bachmann Most Googled Candidate In Iowa","tweet_link":"17_bachmann-most-googled-candidate-in-iowa","entry_text":"

CNN's Peter Hamby reports:

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann isn't just the GOP frontrunner in Iowa. She's also the most Googled candidate in the leadoff caucus state.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

CNN's Peter Hamby reports:

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann isn't just the GOP frontrunner in Iowa. She's also the mo...Read More"},{"id":"16","created":"08/11/2011 3:07 PM EDT","title":"Bachmann Arrives At Debate Hall","tweet_link":"16_bachmann-arrives-at-debate-hall","entry_text":"

\n\n\"shiratoeplitz\"\n\n\n@ shiratoeplitz :\nBachmann just entered debate hall, briefly says she hopes to have a good night tonight. @pennstatetom photos coming soon. #AmesStrawPoll\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ shiratoeplitz :\nBachmann just entered debate hall, briefly says she hopes to have a good night tonight. Read More"},{"id":"15","created":"08/11/2011 2:30 PM EDT","title":"GOP Presidential Candidates Face Key Test In Ames","tweet_link":"15_gop-presidential-candidates-face-key-test-in-ames","entry_text":"

HuffPost's Jon Ward reports:

The Republican presidential primary is entering a new phase. Thursday night's debate in Iowa and the straw poll on Saturday in Ames will draw a new level of national attention, and will shape how the race plays out into the fall.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

HuffPost's Jon Ward reports:

The Republican presidential primary is entering a new phase. Thursday night'...Read More"},{"id":"14","created":"08/11/2011 2:15 PM EDT","title":"McCotter To Host His Own Debate","tweet_link":"14_mccotter-to-host-his-own-debate","entry_text":"

Patrick O'Connor of the Wall Street Journal reports:

Not invited to the big Republican debate out in Iowa on Thursday night?

No biggie. Just have your own!

That’s exactly what Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R., Mich.) will do when his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination take the stage in Ames on Thursday night.

The Michigan congressman will use his website, McCotter2012.com, to answer questions asked of the other candidates on stage, as well as those he gets through his Facebook page and his Twitter feed.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

Patrick O'Connor of the Wall Street Journal Read More"},{"id":"13","created":"08/11/2011 1:12 PM EDT","title":"Bachmann To Attend Event With Perry","tweet_link":"13_bachmann-to-attend-event-with-perry","entry_text":"

The New York Times' Michael Shear reports:

Michele Bachmann will attend a Republican fundraiser in her hometown on Sunday just moments after Rick Perry, the governor of Texas and a likely candidate for president, makes his first appearance in Iowa at the same event.

The decision sets up the likelihood of a dramatic political moment featuring the two potential rivals less than 24 hours after the Ames straw poll.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The New York Times' Michael Shear reports:

Michele Bachmann will atte...Read More"},{"id":"12","created":"08/11/2011 1:02 PM EDT","title":"Romney Tweets From Ames","tweet_link":"12_romney-tweets-from-ames","entry_text":"

\n\n\"MittRomney\"\n\n\n@ MittRomney :\nAt the @IowaStateFair for the afternoon before tonight's debate http://t.co/UiqjL0q\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ MittRomney :\nAt the @IowaStateFair for the afternoon before tonight's debate Read More"},{"id":"11","created":"08/11/2011 12:32 PM EDT","title":"Pawlenty Talks Post-Debate Beers","tweet_link":"11_pawlenty-talks-postdebate-beers","entry_text":"

CBS News reporter Norah O'Donnell tweeted after talking to Tim Pawlenty about Thursday night's presidential debate:

I asked @timpawlenty what his goal is 4 tonight's debate. His answer: \"To drink less than 3 beers after the debate.\"

","short_text":"

CBS News reporter Norah O'Donnell tweeted after talking to Tim Pawlenty about Thursday night's presidential debate:

I asked @timpawlenty what...Read More"},{"id":"10","created":"08/11/2011 9:48 AM EDT","title":"Newt On State Of Campaign","tweet_link":"10_newt-on-state-of-campaign","entry_text":"

During an appearance on \"Fox and Friends\" on Thursday morning, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich addressed whether tonight's debate and the upcoming Ames Straw Poll are the last opportunities he has to revive the state of his campaign.

Gingrich will appear on the Iowa straw poll ballot, but is not actively campaigning to lock up support in the event.

“The first delegates are picked in January -- that’s what matters,\" said Gingrich on Thursday morning. \"Iowa is important and the Ames Straw Poll is important because it starts the national conversation. We are going to have a very big ticket. The important thing for the American people when they watch tonight is this -- is this a petty game of people trying to take shots at each other or are we talking about real solutions now to the crisis we have?\"

Gingrich suggested that Republicans vying for their parties presidential nomination should be focused on what can be done in the short-term to address problems facing the country.

","short_text":"

During an appearance on \"Fox and Friends\" on Thursday morning, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich addressed whether tonight's debate and the upcoming Ames Straw Poll are the last opportunities he has to revive the state of his campaign. Read More"},{"id":"9","created":"08/10/2011 9:28 AM EDT","title":"Straw Poll As Presidential Predictor","tweet_link":"9_straw-poll-as-presidential-predictor","entry_text":"

The AP reports:

Past results have a mixed record of accurately predicting who is going to win the winter caucuses, much less who is heading to the White House.

Four years ago, John McCain didn't compete in the August event but he ended up winning the GOP nomination. At the same time, Mike Huckabee's surprising second-place showing demonstrated strength that spurred him on to a caucus victory.

\"Huckabee was almost dead until the straw poll,\" said former Iowa Republican Chairman Richard Schwarm.

The one time the straw poll was a solid predictor was in the 2000 election cycle, when George W. Bush won the straw poll, the Iowa caucuses and the White House. His father won the straw poll and the caucuses in the 1980 election cycle but lost the nomination to Ronald Reagan.

","short_text":"

The AP reports:

Past results have a mixed record of accurately predicting who is going to win the winter caucuses, much le...Read More"}]

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